Nearly 4,700 more unemployment claims bring total since COVID outbreak to 100,000

DOVER — Delaware saw an additional 4,651 unemployment claims last week, bringing the total of claims submitted over the past two-plus months to 100,475. That’s slightly more than three times the number of claims the state received in all of 2019, according to the Delaware Department of Labor.

Delaware set a new record in April with a 14.3 unemployment rate, an increase from 3.9 percent in February and 5.1 percent in March. The previous high for the state is 9.8 percent from 1976.

Out of the estimated civilian labor force of 465,000 Delawareans, nearly 67,000 were not employed in April.

Delaware’s first coronavirus case was announced March 11, and businesses were under serious restrictions by the end of the month, while residents were urged to remain at home.

From March 15 to May 23, the state paid out $282 million in unemployment benefits, with about 62 percent of that coming from the federal government. Delaware has paid out 78 percent of claims received between March 15 and May 16.

Nationally, the unemployment rate jumped from 3.5 to 4.4 percent from February to March before hitting 14.7 percent last month. That is the highest figure since the Great Depression, with more than 23 million Americans out of work.

More than 2.1 million Americans filed for jobless benefits last week, the U.S. Department of Labor said, bringing the total since mid-March to 40.8 million.

The state is taking steps to reopen and end what Gov. John Carney has called “economic carnage,” but recovery could be slow given the scale, which was unimaginable just a few months ago.

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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